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Business News/ Economy / Cabinet approves increase in sugarcane procurement price by 25 to 340/quintal
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Cabinet approves increase in sugarcane procurement price by ₹25 to ₹340/quintal

With this approval, sugar mills will pay an FRP of ₹340 per quintal of sugarcane at a sugar recovery rate of 10.25%

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. (Reuters)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. (Reuters)

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved a proposal to increase the fair and remunerative price (FRP) for sugarcane to 340 per quintal for the 2024-25 marketing season, on a day the protesting farmers marching to Delhi clashed with the police on the Punjab-Haryana border.

The sugarcane marketing season runs from October to September.

The “significant" increase in the procurement price of sugarcane is about 8% higher than the FRP of sugarcane for the current 2023-24 season, which is 315/ quintal. It is estimated that this decision will help over 5 crore sugarcane farmers and their families.

With this approval, sugar mills will pay an FRP of 340 per quintal of sugarcane at a sugar recovery rate of 10.25%.

With every 0.1% increase in recovery, farmers will get an additional 3.32 per quintal, while the same amount will be deducted on reduction of recovery by 0.1%, said Union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur after the Cabinet meeting.

However, 315.10 a quintal is the minimum price for sugarcane, at a recovery rate of 9.5%. Even if sugar recovery is less, farmers are assured of an FRP at 315.10 per quintal.

The decision on sugarcane procurement price comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and amid protests by Punjab farmers who are agitating to secure a legal guarantee to the minimum support price mechanism, and full debt waiver, among others. The sugar sector is an important agro-based sector that impacts the livelihood of about 5 crore sugarcane farmers and their dependents and around 5 lakh workers directly employed in sugar mills, apart from those employed in various ancillary activities including farm labour and transportation.

Other key decisions taken at the cabinet include modification of the National Livestock Mission, establishment of fodder seed processing infrastructure, easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the space sector, approval to continuation of a scheme for women's safety and continuation of the Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP).

The government modified the National Livestock Mission by including several activities and providing a 50% capital subsidy up to 5,000,000 to individuals and organisations for establishing horse, donkey, mule, and camel entrepreneurship.

The Union cabinet approved a proposal to encourage entrepreneurship for fodder seed processing infrastructure with 50% capital subsidy up to 5,000,000. As per the proposal, private companies, startups, FPOs etc will be allowed to set up fodder seed processing units. This will help in increasing the fodder availability in the country.

The continuation of an umbrella scheme for the safety of women entails a total cost of 1,179.72 crore for the period from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Under the scheme, the government will set up six cyber forensic science laboratories for scientific and timely investigation of crime against women. A national forensic data centre will also be established.

Under the plan, the centre will strengthen DNA analysis, cyber forensic capacities in state forensic science laboratories (FSLs), cybercrime prevention against women and children, and capacity building and training of investigators and prosecutors in handling sexual assault cases against women and children.

The proposal for continuation of the FMBAP is aimed at addressing critical aspects of flood control and anti-erosion measures and was approved by the cabinet till 2026.

FMBAP comprises two key components of Flood Management Programme (FMP) and River Management and Border Areas (RMBA). A total outlay of 4,100 crore is approved for this initiative for the next five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26, Thakur said.

Somrita Ghosh also contributed to this story.

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Published: 22 Feb 2024, 12:54 AM IST
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